What are ISO certification procedures?
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) creates internationally recognised norms that help an organisation promote the efficiency of its testing processes, technology, working conditions and quality management. There are multiple steps in the ISO certification validation process which Edara systems can help you through all of them. Prerequisites include selecting the type of ISO certification and a certification body. The ISO certification validation process includes creating an application, reviewing quality documents, conducting the initial certification audit and forwarding the findings to the registrar for acquiring the ISO certificate.
Prerequisites for ISO certification validation; Types of ISO certification
An organisation must first select the type of ISO certification that is the most suitable for their business. There are a variety of ISO certifications available. The most popular ones include ISO 9001 for quality management, ISO 27001 for information security management, ISO 14001 for environmental sustainability and ISO 22008 for food safety management. Besides, you must not forget ISO 45001 certification process too.
The second prerequisite is to select an ISO certification body. It is worthy to remember that the ISO itself does not partake in the certification process. An external third party conducts the certification assessment and awards the certificate to those who successfully meet the ISO criteria. When choosing a certification body, organisations should consider several factors. An organisation should not only focus on price as the sole criterion but also consider the certification body’s reputation, tradition, specialisation, experience and flexibility.
ISO certification validation process; Which step is important?
The ISO certification process begins with the creation of an application. The applicant and the registrar should agree on the rights, obligations, liability issues, access rights and confidentiality terms outlined in the application. These terms are common in ISO 9001 process and other ISO processes. A clearly defined application benefits both the applicant and the registrar as it ensures that there is no ambiguity and all parties are proceeding on mutually agreed terms.
The second step of the ISO certification process is to review the quality documents. The review would be conducted by an ISO auditor who will stringently go through an organisation’s various policies and procedures. The ISO auditor will assess the existing work to identify any potential gaps between current practice and the standards stipulated in ISO recommendations. The identification of existing gaps is extremely beneficial as it allows the ISO auditor to prepare a customised action plan to eliminate these deficiencies. The ISO auditor prepares a technical list of required tasks to be performed to create desired changes within the organisation. Examples of such changes include creating new policies or developing new training programmes to help employees adapt to these modifications.
After the recommended changes have been implemented and an initial certification audit is conducted. Stage one of this audit is done to identify any remaining nonconformities within the organisation’s system. The organisation then modifies its techniques and processes to align with the desired quality standards. The primary aim of the second stage of the initial certification audit is to evaluate if the interventions have successfully eliminated the nonconformities. The secondary aim of the audit is to gauge if the quality management system now aligns with the ISO quality standards. If the ISO auditor concludes that the findings are satisfactory, an audit report is made and forwarded to the registrar.
Hence, after all findings are satisfactory and non-conformities are eliminated in the ISO audit report, the registrar grants the organisation its ISO certification.
ISO certification expiry; The validity check is important
An ISO certificate expires three years after the date of its issue. However, if the organisation is unable to maintain its quality management system as per ISO recommendations, the certification body can suspend the organisation’s certificate. In order to demonstrate that the quality of its system is maintained, organisations must conduct a surveillance audit annually. If there is a lack of regularity in the conduction of the surveillance audit, the certificate will be suspended. After the certification cycle ends, the organisation can apply for the renewal of the ISO certificate. A reassessment, similar to the initial certification audit would be conducted to ensure that the organisation still upholds the quality of its systems. Auditing is one of the important parts of ISO certification renewal process; surveillance ISO 9001, ISO 45001, ISO 27001 audit process will be done attentively.
ISO certification benefits; How to avoid possible ventures?
ISO-certified companies are provided with guidance that helps to identify potential problems, prevent errors from recurring, and boost marketing and sales efforts. Potential risks are reduced as ISO standards equip companies with the appropriate information and systems to make more effective decisions. Moreover, ISO requires businesses to regularly monitor, measure, analyse and evaluate the efficiency of their systems, helping them identify potential risks and uncovering repeating patterns that lead to recurring problems. It doesn’t matter you are about to get ISO 14001 or other types of ISO certifications. Additionally, the recurrence of errors is reduced as businesses are required to carefully maintain records of their problems. In these records, businesses are asked to seek out the root causes of the problems, apply lasting solutions and evaluate the effectiveness of their actions. Hence, companies are dispensed with the knowledge that allows them to identify risks and prevent common errors. Marketing and sales efforts are boosted in ISO-certified companies as achieving the ISO certification opens new doors for companies. The ISO certification is a stamp of recognition from an internationally acclaimed body. It helps companies tender new contracts and foster better relationships with customers and stakeholders.